Redefining Industrial Design
By Chinaedu Maduagwu
On June 29th, 2015 the world celebrated Industrial Design Day, an annual event first declared in 2007 on the 50th anniversary of International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID). In preparation for the event, practicing designers, students, agencies, corporations and design promotion bodies were encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts on industrial design in a campaign titled “RenewID.” As described on its website, the aim of RenewID is to encourage “a new definition of industrial design for the global creative community.”
Acknowledged globally for its role in adding value to the creation of physical products through renowned principles like “form follows function” and the pragmatic integration of design solutions, Industrial Design is now also gaining acclaim for its vital role in crafting strategic products and services expanding into digital platforms. As today’s thought leaders are calling for new models of business and governance in the wake of technological and scientific advancements, the Industrial Design discipline is well positioned to assert its relevance in strategic innovation. As the profession continues to evolve, it is vital the industrial designer articulates the key values and relevance they bring to organizations, and at the same time enabling organizations to understand the importance of integrating industrial design into their businesses.
As the community re-thinks the definition of Industrial Design, it is vital to incorporate an understanding of its role in policymaking. With a growing dependence on connected products in both public and private sectors, it will be important for these new design systems and networks to be well thought through by regulatory bodies as we build our societies upon them. Governments, cities and organizational planners should not simply look to superimpose information and knowledge technologies into current systems of practice. How do policy makers engage and integrate creative professions like Industrial Design when crafting policy should be an ongoing conversation.
By including early collaboration with the right stakeholders like Industrial Designers, who are trained and experienced strategic practitioners, policymakers can drive the essential shift to more holistic infrastructure for the future. Events like ICSID’s RenewID offer a great platform to help communicate the evolving role and increasing importance of Industrial Design in policy and practice on a global scale.
Born in Denton, Texas Chinaedu has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from University of Louisiana, Lafayette and a Master’s degree in Design Management from Pratt Institute, New York. Chinaedu has worked as a product designer for various engineering firms, such as Unique Systems LLC and Forum Technologies. More recently, his design passion has led him to work in business strategy and operations positions in New York. He currently resides in New York City where he works at Pratt Institute as the Director of Operations for the Design Management department office.
Images courtesy of International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) and its two intiatives,
World Industrial Design Day and RenewID